Dogs are popular the world over and if you are to believe the old adage are also ‘man’s best friend’. Thus it is no surprise that Europe should be equally fan of dogs and that European dogs should be equally well loved. European dogs are a highly popular and many European families across the continent have canine companions. As a result Europe is also a European-dogs-friendly place and while laws vary it is not unusual to see dogs running around on public beaches, sitting quietly in shops with their owners, or even being brought to pubs.
There are also many breeds of European dogs. While you can expect to find breeds of all kinds in Europe just as you can in the US, many breeds originated in Europe and particularly in France, Germany and England. Each of these breeds of European dogs has its own characteristics and its own history and were originally bred for different reasons.
For instance Poodles are highly popular European dogs having been bred in Europe and being popular in many countries. Interestingly most people think of poodles as being French, when in fact they are more likely to have originated in Germany where they were known as ‘pudels’. These European dogs are widely considered the second most intelligent dog breeds in the world and are distinct for their curly fur which means they don’t malt and which once made them good swimmers. In France they were used as gun dogs and would fetch game – which means they also have long snouts and particularly good smell.
Meanwhile the ‘English Bulldog’ is also an example of European dogs which is well known for its European origins. The term bulldog on its own is often used to refer to the English bulldog, though it is important to note that there are also such breeds as French bulldogs and American bulldogs – though these are derivative of mastiffs which were bread in the British Isles before Caesar. Even British bulldogs were created by breeding indigenous mastiffs with those from Spain – so these truly are European dogs. In the 17th century Bulldogs were used in bullbaiting – pitted against bulls as a form of gambling. It is believed that the distinctive wrinkles on their faces are designed to carry blood away from the eyes. Today though, these European dogs are among the most docile and easiest to please.
While these are just two popular European dogs, other popular dogs that originated in Europe include the bloodhound from Belgium, the basset hound and the beagle from France, the boxer and the doberman from Germany, the maltese from Italy or Malta, the kangal dog from Turkey and many more.